Many must be experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety, but did you know that music has beneficial properties that can be exploited during this trying time? But don’t take our word on it, take a look at some of music’s benefits that may be useful during the quarantine.
- Music makes you happier – Scientific studies show that when you listen to or play the music you like, your brain secretes dopamine, the neurotransmitter in charge of happiness. Valore Salimpoor, a neuroscientist at McGill University, injected eight music lovers with a radioactive substance that binds to dopamine receptors after listening to their favorite music. The CT scan showed a large amount of secreted dopamine, which caused participants to feel emotions such as happiness, excitement, and joy! So you know, the next time you feel depressed, put on the songs you like the most for a few minutes, and see how it improves your mood!
- Music reduces stress and improves health – The music you love lowers the levels of cortisol, the hormone produced by stress. This is an important discovery since many of our illnesses and diseases are generated by excess stress in our lives. A study showed that if people actively participate in making music, whether playing instruments or singing, their immune systems can become considerably stronger. So when you get tired from work, turn on the radio, even dance a little, or hum the songs. You will see how the stress of the day shrinks away!
- Music reduces depression – Did you know that more than 350 million people suffer from depression worldwide? Most of them also experience insomnia. A sleep investigation found that symptoms of depression decreased significantly in the group that listened to classical music at bedtime, but not in the other groups. Another study by Hans Joachim Trappe in Germany also showed that music can benefit patients with depressive symptoms, depending on the type of music. Meditative sounds and classical music lifted people’s spirits, but techno and heavy metal further depressed participants. The next time you’re feeling down, play classical or meditative music to lift your spirit!
- Music keeps your brain healthy – “Knowing how to play an instrument requires years of experience and practice, so alternate connections are created in the brain that can compensate for cognitive failure as we age,” says researcher Brenda Hanna-Pladdy. Recent studies show that music can communicate basic human feelings regardless of the listener’s cultural and ethnic context. That is why music is considered as a universal practice that can benefit the world!
In short, music is a cultural phenomenon that directly influences our mood. Listening to music also manages to activate parts of our brain in a way that is beneficial to our health. Lastly, it makes us release endorphins, which always makes us feel better no matter what!